You’ve barely (guiltily, mock-begrudgingly) worked your way through the Christmas leftovers, and your skinny jeans seem to be really upset with you. You know you are about to fail the ultimate female test of being able to zip those babies up! There is a mountain of scrunched up, used wrapping paper as a passive-aggressive reminder that you wanted to start recycling in 2018. But you didn’t. You’ve barely managed to steady yourself after the mental and emotional rollercoaster that was “Christmas with the family” – you know – not the Instagram version, the one where you have to buy things you can’t afford, eat food your thighs can’t afford and hang out with people that you don’t really like. The leftover mince pies assisted you in recovering from the trauma.
And then there is the laundry. Don’t even get me started on the laundry.
And now we’re supposed to snap into “News Years Resolutions” gear? I can’t even. The things I have “To Do” overwhelm me every single day of the year, and then I have to come up with a new list of more existential, more meaningful things “to do” by the time the new year rolls around?
So this year I decided to come up with a list of what not to do.
- Don’t drink bad coffee or bad wine. Life really is just too short for that.
- Stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. Try to catch yourself every time you do it. Here is a question to ask yourself: In this new year, what would happen if I stopped worrying about money/ my kids/ my marriage/ my future/ my career path? I don’t mean “don’t worry about it” in the sense that you stop caring, no! But don’t confuse caring with worrying. Worry is a passive, sinking weight. Caring is an intentional, uplifting action. Fact: Most of the things we worry about never even happen!
- Don’t discount your daily, small acts of faithfulness and obedience. Not the ones in front of the congregation or for the sake of this or that ministry. But the other ones, you know, the behind the scenes, in the kitchen, in traffic, at the office ones that make up most of your life. It’s in those that God is at work with and in us.
- Don’t wear golf shirts unless you are actually playing golf or slippers unless you are actually heading for bed at night or heading to the coffee machine in the morning. Both of those are universally unflattering and don’t belong in public spaces.
- Don’t be too hung up on potential or ability. Remember the 5 loaves and the 2 fish? Remember the short ginger with the slingshot and the pebbles? God is not so much bothered with how awesome you are, more with how available you are.
- Don’t compare, especially not according to lifestage! Every single person’s journey is different. Samuel L Jackson only became an A list actor in his 40’s, Ang Li (Who directed Life of Pi and Sense and Sensibility) was a stay at home dad before becoming an Oscar darling age 41. We steal so much from our own journey and experiences when we constantly compare what we know about ourselves with what we don’t know about the journey of another.
- Stop saying nasty things to yourself. You wouldn’t talk to your bestie or your mom or your daughter like that. Speak to yourself the way you would to them
- Don’t explain yourself to people who have already made up their mind about you. Jesus didn’t.
- Don’t be rude to your kids. Treat them with the same manners and courtesy you are trying to teach them to have with others.
- Don’t let anyone steal your peace in 2019. Not Julius Malema or Dawie Roodt or the headlines or your neighborhood whatsapp group or that “friend” who always asks you when you’re planning on having kids/ planning on having another kid/ planning to try for a girl/ planning to try for a boy! Your peace was hard won, paid for and given to you as a gift (John 14 v 27). Treat it like that, like it’s something to be treasured, kept safe and appreciated.
- Don’t entertain too many thoughts that start with “I should”. Let go of should. Your value is in Christ, not in your ability to live up to your own ridiculous standards. Silence that critic like you’re that french dude at Wimbledon, loudly and with feeling – “silence s’il vous plaît!”
- Don’t hold on to the failures and faults of 2018. If you carry that with you it will only give you backache or indigestion or worse. Let that stuff go. Pray like David did in Psalm 25 v 11 “For the honor of your name Lord, never count my sins, and forgive them all – lift their burden off my life” (TPT)
Go with God lovelies, you’ve got this and God’s got you! This year you can do the bravest and the best, which is to live hour by hour in obedience, from promise to promise in faith.